New Format for EDH: Rule 0

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Sept. 11, 2021, 2:08 p.m. by TypicalTimmy

Rule 0 began as a hub idea, but quickly became it's own sub-format within the EDH community.

When you build a new deck, or update an existing deck, you can now select Commander: Rule 0 as an option for the format.

Rule 0 is important to EDH, because it allows the players to gauge their decks against one-another. You don't want to sit down with a cEDH deck when the rest of the table had precons, after all. Rule 0 is when players normally talk about the goals of their decks, what their assessed power levels are, whether or not their decks can combo off and go infinite and a variety of other things. However, occasionally a player will mention that they want to run a card or two that technically is illegal, per the Rules Committee. While it technically is against the rules, we must understand that EDH is a social format first and foremost. The social contract allows players to express their creativity and develop new deck constructions.

With that said, Commander: Rule 0 allows players to build decks here on Tappedout and have them recognized as "technically legal", as long as their table agrees to it. After all, it is important to recognize that we likely are not at each other's tables or LGS, and we should be respectful of other user's designs.

A Rule 0 deck is one that employs any of the following, in isolation or combination.

  • Your Commander is a silver-bordered Commander, such as Alexander Clamilton.
  • You Commanders do not have Partner or Partners With together, but you would like to still use them in tandem. For example, Stitcher Geralf and Ghoulcaller Gisa.
  • Your Commander is banned in the format, such as Iona, Shield of Emeria.
  • Your Commander isn't a Legendary Creature. Examples may be a Legendary Enchantment, a Legendary Artifact, a Legendary Planeswalker or perhaps even a Legendary Sorcery. An example could be Sanctum of All or Parhelion II.
  • You wish to run a Commander who isn't actually Legendary, such as Dune-Brood Nephilim.
  • In fact, it doesn't even have to be a "real" MTG card! Want to run Sliv-Mizzet, Hivemind? Go for it!

Rule 0 doesn't just account for what's in your Command Zone. It could also be, to a much less extent, what's in the library. Perhaps you wish to run a silvered border card or a banned card. Or perhaps more than just one as a silly theme set, such as a deck exclusively made out of the Unsanctioned Augment mechanic.

Technically, yes. But if you wish to employ such powerful cards, you may want to simply consider playing Canadian Highlander instead.

The purpose of Rule 0, as a format, is to breathe new life into janky decks. To reinvigorate your playgroup. To have hilarious antics, memorable plays and laughs with friends.

Rule 0 is EDH for those who want to put having a fun and hilarious time above winning. It's for those players who have a creative itch that the Rules Committee won't scratch.

Rule 0 is about finding those roots of Magic again, where it's a game meant to be played by those you enjoy spending time with. :)

Unfortunately, no. First and foremost, a land isn't cast. So it couldn't be cast from the Command Zone, regardless. Secondly, it's not very fair to open with a T1 Gaea's Cradle every single game.

Even if the entire table ran land destruction, mana to get your Cradle back is nothing and unfairly unbalances the game.

Furthermore, fetch lands extrapolate this issue even more, as now every single turn you are guaranteed a land of your choice.

The same can apply to any modal card that flips or transforms into lands, such as Growing Rites of Itlimoc  Flip. Permanents like these essentially put lands in your Command Zone, which just creates the same problem again.

So, unfortunately lands in the Command Zone are banned. Sorry.

tiffanyann says... #2


Elbrus, the Binding Blade  Flip


Honestly, have an open discussion with your group before the game about how you want to play, whether it be matching power levels or testing something janky. No one wants to sit down at the table, unpack and then lose turn 1. Have fun, and remember, it never hurts to ask. work on the write up for my Phoebe deck....

September 11, 2021 3:07 p.m.

tiffanyann says... #3

I wanna ask the mods if I can issue a challenge or something. Like people can post a new rule zero deck to the hub and the one with the most updoots at the end of October or something I can gift some feature tokens? I'm not sure if that's allowed. (have a few rules like it has to be a new deck, etc) I wouldn't mind seeing someone build a Akki Lavarunner  Flip deck...

September 11, 2021 4:07 p.m.

griffstick says... #4

I always wanted to make B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) my cmdr

September 11, 2021 4:13 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #6


Maelstrom Archangel was someone I've always wanted to build.

September 11, 2021 5:56 p.m.

SpammyV says... #7

Technically, if you've accepted silver-bordered cards, The Grand Calcutron has been officially errata'd to be able to be your Commander. So on turn 2 you can tell your opponents that they need to figure out their plays from now until the Calcutron being removed.

September 11, 2021 6:47 p.m.

TorvirOdinson says... #8


September 16, 2021 12:10 p.m.

tiffanyann says... #9

September 16, 2021 12:11 p.m.

bryanedds says... #10

Always wanted to build an EDH deck with Utvara Hellkite as its cmdr. Probably won't be terribly competitive, but should be tons of fun :)

September 17, 2021 6:59 p.m.

Yes!! Finally, my Naya Hans Eriksson/Saffi Eriksdotter partner deck and 5c Genju of the Realm jank decklists can be shared with the world!

September 22, 2021 7:13 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #12

Parhelion II: Electric Boogaloo

Commander: Rule 0 TypicalTimmy


It's super fun

September 27, 2021 6:04 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #13

I'm working on Warden of the First Tree next.

September 27, 2021 6:05 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #14


Nicol Bolas, Stupidfrens

Commander: Rule 0 TypicalTimmy


September 27, 2021 6:06 p.m.

Commander Rule 0 Wurm deck :)

September 30, 2021 3:37 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #16

Here you go, ScionsStillLive


September 30, 2021 4:19 p.m.

Scytec says... #17

Ok...hear me out...Battle of Wits at the helm with 300 Islands as the deck list. eh? eh?

October 1, 2021 10:35 p.m.

Scytec says... #18

Jokes aside, if you choose to run a contest tiffanyann let me know, I would love to submit a list.

October 1, 2021 10:36 p.m.

Scytec says... #19

Because what is arguable my favorite card, and a SEVERLY underrated homie Torrent Elemental will be coming in HOT.

October 1, 2021 10:37 p.m.

Another deck I've been working on-

Cracking the Ice (Commander Rule 0)

Commander: Rule 0 ScionsStillLive


October 6, 2021 6:13 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #21

Over the weekend I'll make a "comprehensive rules list" for Rule: 0. I know it sounds silly, because it contradicts the very nature of the format in question, but there are certain elements of the game that can not be altered.

For example, you can't have a land as your Commander as a land is not cast.

You also can't give a creature who does not have Companion that ability, because you would be adding text onto the card that isn't there.

I should probably ban the Power 9, simply because if you want to play with those cards, just play Canadian Highlander and use the appropriate point-buy system.

I've also seen questions pertaining to "Partners" and "Partners With", asking if having two cards that are not Partnered up together adds to the deck's color identity. Why it does, I think it should be worth limiting this. Otherwise technically speaking you could run Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood. So I feel putting a limitation on this is important.

What I'm thinking is the following:

  • No lands as Commanders, including any card who's reverse side is a land, unless allowed by the Rules Committee for regular EDH.

  • No Power 9 - Just play Canadian Highlander

  • If you use Partners With, at least one must be a Legendary Creature

  • You may not Partners With any Legendary Creature who has Eminence: This includes, for the purposes of the rule, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

  • Artifacts, Enchantments, Instants and Sorceries are OKAY but must be Legendary

  • All Planeswalkers are usable as Commanders

  • No rules change to Companion

  • Non-legendary creatures are okay to use as solo or Partners With Commanders (Oh Lord help us with Snapcaster Mage)

This expands the deck building opportunities by a LOT, without allowing it to be broken so frequently. For example, Winter Orb + Land Tax?? Jesus Christ, no. Lmao

October 6, 2021 6:40 p.m. Edited.

TypicalTimmy says... #22

  • can't add companion rules text
  • adds partners with rules text
  • what is this logic, you speak of?

I think the issue with Companion is that it begins outside the game and adds a 101st card to the deck. Additionally the Companions all come with deck construction restrictions, while anything you add Companion to does not.

Partners With, while pushing it to the furthest of extremes, is still within the nature of a fun casual deck, allowing players to partner up legendary creatures they have always wanted to. While this does open some horrendously game-breaking combinations, that is all part of the fun. If your table is okay with you running Griselbrand with Snapcaster Mage, I mean... I hope you have your will prepared because u gonna die my fren. That's some serious umph. Don't expect the table to go lightly on you for that noise.

October 6, 2021 6:50 p.m.

SpammyV says... #23

Having played deck with silver-bordered cards in the past or using Nephilim as commanders, the one thing I always try to stress is what is in my deck and why I have these cards and that I accept a no if people don't want to play against a silly deck.

I don't merely say "Here is my Glint-Eye Nephilim deck," instead I say "Here's my cool self-discard synergy theme deck with Glint-Eye Nephilim." Before I'd sit down to play with Baron Von Count I'd make sure I explained the card well to people unfamiliar with it.

In general I think that at a casual table there's little to be gained from being secretive about what your deck is doing when you're playing with strangers, but especially when you're doing something that's in violation of the normal rules of Commander. And if it's apparently all just for power, you need to be ready for people not wanting to play against it.

October 6, 2021 7:18 p.m.

Scytec says... #24

I thought the whole point of a rule 0 format was that individual tables could decide the rules they wanted to follow. By instituting rules in what is already a rule breaking format, all I can see happening is limiting some small number of individuals who could otherwise post lists their playgroup is fine with. If you allow some...why not all? Unless youre actually trying to get a new format off the ground, but then I wouldnt call it Rule 0, too many implications to commander/EDH

October 6, 2021 7:47 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #25

Because I've been seeing confusion as to what is or is not allowed and how things would work, like lands in the command zone.

I think there needs to be clarification. If players truly want an "anything goes" experience, the objective best is just Canadian Highlander.

October 6, 2021 8:04 p.m.

Scytec says... #26

That is fair, but a lot of people, myself included, dont want to play CH. haha. I have never met anyone in my area who even has a deck. Just curious as to how the rules were decided, or why we need them, by reading your detailed description, I would hope most would get the idea of how the format works

October 6, 2021 8:13 p.m.

enpc says... #27

TypicalTimmy: Canadian Highlander is a VERY different format to commander, especially Rule Zero Commander. I think potentially some of hte headings in the thread may need a bit of tweaking for this.

Scytec: My understanding with Rule Zero is that it does provide users with a lot more flexibity. Ultimately in true Rule Zero, you can do whatever you want. You can run off coloured cards, duplciates, lands as commanders, etc. But as far as the T/O is concerned, there still nees to be some structure in place befure the deck just becomes a casual format deck.

That being said, I have not tried creating a deck with a land as commander and seen if the T/O deckbuilder complains.

I do think 9as I mentioned up in this post) that some of the descriptions need to be tweaked as Rule Zero should have majority control, with only things like "You need to have at least one commander, as that's the very spirit of the format" to overrule it.

October 6, 2021 8:47 p.m.

Commander_JAR says... #28

After getting blocked by a cEDH fan, this actually brightened my day.

October 22, 2021 12:56 a.m.

Reznor31 says... #29

on the conversation of Partner with things that arent partnered vs adding companion, i think we shouldnt have any card have companion due to restrictions that they have and for partner, you can only partner cards that have partner soley because there are still non legendary partners out there that you can try to make and i think adding partner to any and everything will just get out of hand, especial with cheap combos like splinter twin. If the table allows it then so be it i guess tho.

October 28, 2021 2:47 p.m.

KorandAngels says... #30

I have a favourite Dune-Brood Nephilim deck, although it isn't that needed for the deck. It's just that I need 99 not 98 cards and so can't use partners, and Saskia just seems not to fit.

November 4, 2021 2:28 a.m.

KorandAngels says... #31

And I feel like a Blightsteel Colossus deck wouldn't be out of the question for most people. I also like the look of Morphling and its many counterparts. By the way, does this rule involve letting people use Conspiracies? Since they reference the command zone and all.

November 4, 2021 2:43 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #32

I've been so insanely busy between work and doctor appointments that I basically forgot about this. The truth is, I never intended this to even have it's own format hub. I made my original post asking for a hub, like Stompy and Tribal and Death & Taxes. Someone upgraded it from a Hub to a Format.

Since it's now a registered format, I feel like it needs "rules", which specifically go against the identity of it at all.

The way I was thinking, it was simple:

  • Want a Planeswalker as your Commander? Okay!
  • What about an Artifact, like Door to Nothingness? Sure!
  • Want a non-Legendary creature, like Brutal Hordechief? No problem!
  • Oh man, you really wanna partner up old Geralf and Gisa? Go ahead!
  • Hehehe unset cards are so funny, use them!

But since it became a "Format", now you need to ask much harder questions.

  • Can I run in my Lazav deck?
  • I'd love to have Gaea's Cradle as my Commander...
  • So I can play with the Moxen, right?
  • I want to run only 60 cards...
  • Wait so we can use Heroes of the Realm cards?
  • I want to Partner up a Legendary Creature as well as a Planeswalker- oh and I'd also like to run a Sorcery as a Companion?

Like... sigh, I decided a comprehensive rules list should be in order. But that defeats the purpose of the "format", so I simply do not know anymore...

November 4, 2021 3:12 a.m.

Reznor31 says... #33

TypicalTimmy -I think companions should only be reserved for companions.

-Partner should be allowed for all.

-Lands cant be commanders due to them not having a cost.

-this is still commander so still 100 card decks only.

-sure, you can use Heroes of the realm. youd probably only ever see it online anyways or proxy it.

-play with the moxes, all are on the table.

-and lastly, if you want to run Red in your lazav deck, partner with a red card but stay within the color identity. This is still a form of EDH.

If anyone agree with these rules, lemme know.

November 4, 2021 12:11 p.m.

garruk3 says... #34

Felidar Sovereign as your commander...

November 5, 2021 12:38 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #35

I mean good luck getting it out on time without a slurry if hate coming your way lol

Serra Ascendant would be superior lmao

November 5, 2021 12:53 a.m. Edited.

IsoSTARDUST says... #36

Genju of the Realm or bust.

November 21, 2021 11:37 a.m.

griffstick says... #37

TypicalTimmy, you should build it. I can't think of a better cmdr.

November 21, 2021 3:34 p.m.

griffstick says... #38

I have another sweet cmdr rule 0 idea. Stay tuned.

November 27, 2021 9:53 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #39

I have been absolutely swamped at work, doing 62+ - 80+ hour weeks for months now. Working ~72 hours this week (11/21 - 11/27) alone including working 12.5 hours on Thanksgiving.

I work literally every single day the rest of the year - including Christmas and Christmas Eve - except for Sundays. And only because the law says I need 1 day off every 7 week days.

So, I apologize that it seems like I made this format and abandoned it. I haven't meant to; The truth is, I have no time for anything else.

November 27, 2021 10:01 p.m.

griffstick says... #40

All good. I didn't hold any high expectations for at all.

Here's the new deck idea I had beast not be steppin the cmdr is Wirewood Savage. It's in its roughest form I could use some help with it.

November 28, 2021 12:25 p.m.

enpc says... #41

Urukabaar: Ease up there, tiger. At the end of the day, the point of the rule zero is to provide flexibility to do what they want, while keeping the format still within the spirit of commander. And for the most part, the idea behind rule zero is that everyone is still adhering to the same social contract. So if everyone in your playgroup wants to build "every commander has partner and everyhting is unbanned" super ruthless decks then that's fine. But what rule zero oftern actually turns into is some janky theme deck where somebody wants to run some sort of wall voltron deck or something.

With all commander, but especially with rule zero, the social contract is absolutely critical to make it work.

I'm also not sure if you read all of the posts here, but TypicalTimmy's comments definitely do not act as a definitive ruleset. THese are guidelines that most people agree with, though these are still being tweaked. But for now this post was done as a starting point that can easily be evolved as we go.

December 20, 2021 8:20 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #42

Basically the only "rule" is that there is no rule.

Does your table prefer Infect killing at 20 over 10? Legal.

Want to use any Planeswalker as a Commander? Legal.

Want to add a pip outside your color identity? Legal.

Want to run Partners that don't have Partner? Legal.

Want to play EDH with a friggen Black Lotus? Legal.

Wanna start the table off at 100 life each and really hurt for that grind? Legal.

The issue is that when there are no core rules to follow, it becomes a mess when someone begins to introduce all kinds of crazy things like asking if they can partner up Nyxbloom Ancient and Nexus of Fate as Commanders, or if they can add WUBRG to Kozilek, or if they can begin to run playsets and then toss in 4x Imperial Seal.

Just ask your table first. If your table says yes, you're good.

December 20, 2021 8:41 p.m.

bryanedds says... #45

I think that the format should have no rules, but rather only clarifications. If there is question about the format that arises out of technical ambiguity, it is within the scope of the format to codify a clarification to disambiguate it.

No rules, only clarifications.

Hopefully that will help move the format definition forward.

December 20, 2021 10:54 p.m.

griffstick says... #46

I like that. No rules only clarifications.

December 21, 2021 8:45 a.m.

so glad this is on here, although honestly, I think that if you're going to have an artifact be your commander, it can't be, like, embercleave or something, it would have to be an artifact that's big enough to be a location. I mean, a sword, no matter its reputation, can't really have the same kind of grandeur as the sanctum of all. consider flavor in everything you deckbuild. if you're running a stax deck it will make everyone hate you marginally less, and if you aren't, it'll be cooler than your deck (hopefully) already was.

December 29, 2021 5:13 p.m.

oh and also, isn't the point of commander to be fun? running a black lotus kind of would defeat that.

December 29, 2021 5:14 p.m.

EVEN-ELITE says... #49

Ask your friends!

January 2, 2022 10:53 a.m.

Skillville says... #50

I like how Rule zero is some how new when in the beginning it was always players talking about their decks anyway. I've NEVER sat at a table in which this did not occur. Not at the kitchen table, not at any Grand Prix side event, nor league. Grats on talking about redundancy tho.

January 20, 2022 3:11 p.m.

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